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Chelsea to battle Barcelona for Celtic right-back Juranovic following latest Reece James injury setback

18:08 GMT+3 28/12/2022
20221221_Josip_Juranovic
Chelsea are reportedly interested in signing Celtic right-back Josip Juranovic, who was linked with a move to Barcelona earlier this month.

WHAT'S HAPPENING? The move comes after Reece James suffered an injury setback in the Blues' Premier League return against Bournemouth, which ended in a routine 2-0 victory for Graham Potter's side. While James described it as part of the "toughest year" of his life, Sky Sports reported that the injury prompted Chelsea to begin internal negotiations over potential right-back options in January, with Juranovic leading the way as an early front-runner.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The report also stated that the Blues have been scouting the Celtic right-back for some time, with his name recently coming to prominence following an impressive World Cup campaign with third-place Croatia. The 27-year-old was also rumoured to be high on Barcelona's transfer list, although the Catalan club may be restricted by the ongoing Financial Fair Play restrictions in place.

AND WHAT'S MORE: Another Spanish side, Atletico Madrid, are also said to hold an interest in Juranovic. Celtic, for their part, are keen on retaining the services of the Croatian, although there has been little progress in terms of contract talks despite a new deal being talked up by the club. Juranovic has three-and-a-half years left on his current deal, meaning either Chelsea, Barca or Atletico will have to part ways with a fair sum in order to secure his signature in January.

STORY IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR JURANOVIC? With a host of top European clubs vying for his signature, it seems likely the Juranovic will secure a move away from Celtic, either in January or in the summer.